Do want something different to do for the holiday theater season? Want to see a spoof on cooking shows, corporate sponsorship, and Chicago-based talk show hosts? Then you may want to attend The Cooking Show (con Kamiri y Comrades) at the Guthrie Lab Theater. I went to the show on Sunday night, and it was funny, allegorical, and unusual. This show is not for everyone; it is wholeheartedly, albeit lightheartedly, left wing, antiestablishment, and sometimes bizarre (insert tap dancer).
The show centers on rising star Mero Cocinero, a Communist-leaning, Guatemalan-Iranian chef. He has a chance to become the next big thing in the cooking-show world but is not sure he can sell out his beliefs for a dollar. He and his cast mates use cooking and food as a vehicle for corporate satire, social justice, and political discussion. This is an interactive event with open cheering, discussion, and food tasting. The views he and his roller-skating, Korean-Polish sous chef relay are pertinent and basically sound (if not didactic) . . . can't we all just get along and eat local, organic together? In the end, the show has a great message: Food brings us all together no matter what your political leaning or cultural hang-ups. The best part is the finale, when you get to eat the GLBT sandwich (guacamole, lettuce, beans, and tomato), and you are invited to live the point of the play by, heaven forbid, eating with strangers!
If you go, don't expect to get dinner; you will get a few bites of simple food though. The Wedge Co-op provides the food, so you know it is organic--if not local. The theater has wine and beer available before the show, so buy a bottle of wine or a couple of beers before it starts because it closes the bar at curtain call. The Cooking Show is relatively short; it runs approximately ninety minutes. There are three shows left, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8 p.m.
I would love to hear from anyone who has attended the show and get your thoughts.